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L.A. Times Test Kitchen tips: Choosing a bread wash

CarawaycrossBread recipes often call for some sort of "wash"  or glaze before baking, sometimes egg, sometimes milk. Even butter. Different washes are used to achieve different results:

  • Brushing with beaten whole eggs will give both color and sheen to a bread. Egg yolk provides rich color, browning easily in the oven. Egg white provides a nice sheen.
  • Brushing with milk will help to color the crust, the sugars in the milk helping to brown the crust.
  • Water is often sprayed or brushed onto bread before it is placed in a very hot oven, and during baking, to give the bread an extra-crisp crust. Water added to an egg wash helps to thin the wash so it brushes more easily.
  • Butter will give the bread a softer crust and richer flavor.
  • Sweeteners--honey, syrup, etc.--will give bread a sweeter, softer crust.

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or shoot me an e-mail at noelle.carter@latimes.com.

-- Noelle Carter

Photo credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

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My whole family favorite in breads is cheese bread. I will try this recipe for the shinning of the bread. Thanks for sharing. I have deserts book and I try to bake different combination of breads. All the time in my Kitchen Cabinets Oakville the kitchen cabinets are full with the stuff that been used to baked the bread in various types.


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